Flurry O' Fury

Monday, July 11, 2005

I went to Best Buy this past weekend for a radio and the clerk at the register was desperately trying to up-sell me.

“Would you like to purchase a 2-year extended warranty plan?”
“No thanks, not today.”
“It’s total protection for your purchase. It guards against wear & tear, accidents, even weather.”

Whatever happened to “no means no”? Isn’t that a good rule? Shouldn’t it have applications outside the context of date rape?

“No thank you, I don’t do warranties on electronics.”
“Well, you never know when some of these things are going to break.”
“If they’re such crap then, why are you selling them?”

See, right there I elevated the conversation to testy, hoping to end any further attempts by him to market add-on impulse buys at the point-of-purchase. But would he take the hint?

“With the purchase you’re eligible to receive a free gift-”
“-of six weeks of Entertainment Weekly. There’s absolutely no charge-”
“No. No gift. Just the radio.”
“Okay. You’re also eligible for Best Buy credit. I can help you fill out a-”
“I don’t want that.”
“Okay sir, but-”
“Tell you what, I don’t want this radio anymore either because it’s too damn hard to buy it here. Okay?”
“Okay sir, but I’ve already charged your card. I’m sorry, but you’ll need to take it to customer service now and get a refund.”
“Oh really? And what will they try to sell me over there? AOL? Girl Scout cookies?”
“I don’t know what they sell over there, sir. Can I help the next customer?”

Ladies and gentlemen, this is America. You walk into a homogenized big-box store, don’t receive any help finding a product, have no one to answer your questions, and then get sold, sold, sold worthless crap on your way out the door. The goal is to extract as much as you can from the customer while giving them as little as possible in return. And employees are treated the same way too, of course. This is how corporate America increases its profit margins each quarter.

For those among you who can’t seem to grok this system, including my zealous Best Buy clerk, I recommend that you read The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams. If you follow the link and purchase from Amazon, a percentage of the sale will benefit this blog. If you like Dilbert, you might also be interested in a newspaper subscription at ½ price. And don’t forget to add a cell phone plan from Cingular, Furious Jam’s choice for wireless service. Did I mention my blog’s extended warranty plan?


  • At 9:21 AM, Blogger midwest_hick said…

    lol....well said....and how true!

  • At 9:53 AM, Blogger Stephanie said…

    I love it! In all my life, I have never been able to use a warranty that I purchased. We share the philosophy -- "I don't do electronic warranties." The same goes for automobiles.

  • At 10:43 AM, Blogger Oh, that girl. said…

    I don't know, does your blog come with a free gift?

  • At 11:11 AM, Blogger Carla said…

    toooo funny. I've had the same experience at Best Buy. Now I just buy everything online.

    I need a warranty for my credit card though, in case it breaks... :)


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